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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 11:40 GMT
Appeal over Ivorian crisis
Woman in Abidjan
Immigrants have been fleeing the country

The UN is launching an emergency appeal to prevent what it says threatens to be a massive humanitarian crisis in and around Ivory Coast.

After nine weeks, the country is still split between government and rebel forces and a growing number of people are being forced from their homes and from the country with a growing impact on the region.

The United Nations is asking for $16m saying a swift and timely response is needed to help almost four million people in need here, or in surrounding countries.

The money would be spent in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana to provide those in need with shelter, food and water supply, education and health care.

Backlash

Plans have been drawn up for three months of aid work, assuming that the ceasefire here holds and that a West African peacekeeping force is put into place.

A small headquarters staff of West African troops has arrived so far to begin the hand-over with the French army, who are acting as a buffer force now.

More than a month after a truce began between the government and rebels, people are still leaving their homes and the country because of ethnic violence stirred up by the conflict and the destruction by government forces of thousands of homes in shanty towns.

There are three million people from the neighbouring country of Burkina Faso working in Ivory Coast and they are worst affected by the backlash against foreigners.

The United Nations warns of the danger that Burkina Faso faces an influx of people so large it will have an unprecedented effect on the country.

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18 Nov 02 | Africa
11 Nov 02 | Africa
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